How To Spend Consciously as a Beauty Lover

Hello, everyone! Today I wanted to talk about something that I think is important to all of us: saving money. According to Reuters, the cosmetics industry was valued at $532 billion USD in 2017 – we spend a lot of money on our appearance! As beauty lovers and beauty bloggers, how do we continue collecting makeup while still spending consciously? Considering part of my 9-5 job is finding holes where we bleed money so that management can better control their costs, I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at analyzing my spending patterns in my own life. Today, I have seven tips that I use in my life that I use when I think about buying makeup, and would like to share them with you!

Ask Yourself “Do I Really Need This”?

Let’s be clear, none of us actually “need” makeup, but that’s not the point here. The reality is that we all love makeup, so we’re naturally going to buy and collect it. When I get an itch to buy makeup, I ask myself why I want it. Do I really need to add a 30th blush to my collection? Can I dupe it with something I already own instead of buying this one? Am I really going to notice if that particular item is missing from my collection? I ask these questions to myself this every time I want to buy something, and a lot of the time, it helps me weed out a lot of items I didn’t really need to purchase!


Walk Away From It

If I find myself seriously contemplating buying a product, whether in stores or online, I will either exit out of the browser before I can click “check out”, or literally walk out of the store. The next step takes a little self-control – I sleep on it for a while. If I still find myself thinking about the product in a week or two, then I’ll make plans to buy it. In the majority of cases, I find that I end up not even wanting to buy the product anymore. Win!


Wait for Sales

Shopping during sales is a no brainer, but here I’m talking about using sales as a way to curb impulse purchases. There’s a difference between waiting for something to go on sale before you buy it, and buying something just because it’s on sale (which we all do, let’s be honest). I don’t shop exclusively during sales, but I do try my best to wait for them to come around before buying something. When I find myself wanting to purchase makeup, I ask myself “do I need this now? Can this purchase wait until a sale is on?” The answer is almost always no, I don’t need it right now, so then I put it on my wishlist and wait for a sale to come.

In the last few years, I’ve started buying from Sephora only during their semi-annual sales (for the most part, anyway). Ulta, which I don’t have access to, has a great “21 Days of Sales” event There are items you might need to restock between sales, but you can technically plan ahead for that by stocking up on them during the sales so that they last you until the next sale. Shopping sales applies to websites as well. I only order from brands like ColourPop or Tarte when they have sitewide sales online, and they do so pretty frequently.

I have to admit that I’m less likely to shop sales at the drugstore, but I do try to keep my eye out for discounts on higher-priced drugstore brands like Physician’s Formula and L’Oreal. I’m the worst about impulse buying drugstore nail polish and I find Essie to be pretty pricey (around $9.99 for the regular polishes and $13.99 for the Gel Couture polishes), so I often force myself to wait for or wait for them to go on sale.


Shop During Points Events

Similar to sales, I tend to wait until a points event rolls around to buy my beauty products. A lot of retailers hold events several times a year where you can earn points at an increased rate. Places like Shoppers Drug Mart have their 20x the Points events, and Ulta has 10x the Points events. While you don’t save money on your purchase right away, the points collected are worth a dollar value that can be used on future purchases. SDM even has points events during the year where the points you redeem on your purchase are worth MORE than what they are valued at, so you get more bang for your buck!

Once in a while, Sephora has 2x or 3x the points events on skincare or fragrance. I used to find these events to be pretty useless since Sephora’s rewards program was terrible, but they started upping their rewards game last year. While it’s still nowhere the value of the Shoppers/Ulta program, it is a little more worth it now for the full sized items and $100 gift cards. If you have any skincare or fragrance that’s been on your wishlist, the points events would be a good time to get them.


Using Ebates When Shopping Online

Ebates is an online cash-back program, where you can get a portion (usually anywhere from 1%-8%) of your online purchases back. There are hundreds of retailers that are available on Ebates, including beauty brands like Sephora, Tarte, Stila, Urban Decay, and MAC. What you have to do to get cash back is go to the website you want via the Ebates website when you are signed into your Ebates account, then make your purchases as per usual usual. Every quarter, they’ll send you a cheque for your cash back on your purchases, or they can also deposit it directly into your Paypal account. It sounds too good to be true – what does Ebates get out of it? They actually make a commission from the stores when we make a purchase through the Ebates website. The only problem is remembering to go to the Ebates website first – I tend to forget a lot! You won’t get your money back otherwise, although I believe if you are in the US, Ebates does allow you to claim your cash back after the purchase.


Shop Your Stash/Project Pan

Going through your collection and using up products you already own is a great way to stop adding new things to your stash. You end up buying a lot less frequently when you shop your stash, because you are so focused on finishing up what you already own. It’s also a good way to appreciate the things you already have, instead of constantly buying more! As a lot of you already know, I did two Project Pans last year, and I felt so accomplished finishing up a bunch of my makeup!


Go on a No-Buy/Low-Buy

To no one’s surprise, putting yourself on a no-buy or low-buy is one of the easiest ways to make sure you save money! I think the key to being successful in a no-buy or low-buy is to be realistic about it. While not impossible, it’s probably really difficult to go cold turkey and go from buying whatever you want, whenever you want, to doing a year long no-buy. I did a low-buy/no-buy in 2016 and 2017, and I learned a lot about my buying habits in that time. For me, I found that doing half a year of a no-buy and half a year of a low-buy was the perfect mix for me. I made sure that my low-buy and no-buy months alternated so I wouldn’t go several months without getting to buy anything. I also made sure I planned for my low-buys during months where sales or special events occurred, so that I could still participate in the sales (the Sephora sales in April and November, my birthday month, December Boxing Day sales). Forcing yourself to not buy anything is tough, but if you need help, tips 1-4 can be a big help!

That’s it for my tips, I hope you found them useful! As a beauty lover, how do you save money as a beauty lover?

16 thoughts on “How To Spend Consciously as a Beauty Lover

  1. I do all these. Plus utilize gift cards when I have them. That’s how I was able to do my Sephora haul I posted about today on my blog. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, gift cards is a good one – possibly the best because you can get your products for free! I thought about that one too but didn’t add it in since getting gift cards isn’t something you can control haha.


      • That’s true… to a point. There’s an app called Shopkick where you get point (called “kicks” just for walking into certain stores and scanning things with your phone while at the stores. You can then redeem those points for gift cards or other prizes. It’s legit. I use it and have redeemed 3 Sephora gift cards so far.


  2. I keep forgetting about Ebates! It’s so frustrating because that cash back actually does add up lol
    I love the idea of alternating no-buy & low buy months! I think I’ll try to adopt that after we move into our place in March. Great tips!


  3. Love all of your suggestions – I follow many of them including asking myself if I really need the item, walking away. Doing project pans has really put things in perspective – it takes a long time to get through any given product (especially powder products) so I’ve started applying a “one-in, one-out” approach as well. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve tried to implement the “one-in one-out” policy on and off for the last two years and I find it SO hard! 😂 i’m trying again this year with lipsticks in particular, so we’ll see how it goes. Huge props to you if you are able to stick with it!


  4. These are great tips! I only buy high-end products when there’s a sale going around or during the holiday time as there are loads of discounts. Otherwise I stick to drugstore products and I only buy products when I need to as opposed to when I want to. I wish we had Ebates in the UK (or even something similar like that), it’s such a cool program! x

    Liked by 1 person

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